Seattle downtown is huge, but here is a hotel themed on Washington wines, a short walk to the Pike Place Market, near the 5th Avenue Theater, and other attractions. Other attractions include the short ferry ride to Bainbridge Island (see Mancation – A Man’s Vacation in Washington Wine Grunge ).
Rooms at Hotel Vintage Park feature a local Washington wine theme, each room named after a vineyard or wine. Guests enjoy a nightly wine tasting, including instruction on the art of wine tasting, in the hotel lobby.The hotel will handle booking an organized bus tour of the Washington vintners and vineyards. This is a four-star hotel without its own restaurant, but the adjoining restaurant is Tulio’s, with the best Italian food of downtown Seattle.
Tulio Ristorante is widely considered as the best Italian food downtown. Enjoy linguini with clams, but at Tulio pasta is a special experience because it is made fresh, crab is boiled in the water for taste, and the clams come in shell with unique spices. Our server chose one wine that would go with a Beet Salad, Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Linguine…he came back with a 2008 Whispering Angel Rosé. It was light and delicious. Chef and owner, Walter Pisano, is around checking and watching his staff but is available for questions about his unique taste achievements. Tulio’s is reasonably priced and yet serves the best fresh Pacific Northwest seafood.
Mama’s Mexican Kitchen is a local favorite in Seattle’s Bell Town district since its opening in 1974. Get ready for tattooed or jewelry-punctured servers but they are just the remains of grunge culture in Seattle; try to remember Nirvana. Experience the oldest Mexican restaurant in Seattle. Negra Modelo beer with the guacamole and salsa induces a craving in people given the corn chips are fresh. The combination standard of shredded beef taco with cheese enchilada is a great way to get started here.
Washington, with its cooler climate in the western side, produces some great wines in the dryer and warmer inland regions. The majority of people are in the Seattle area so wineries operate tasting rooms throughout the Seattle and the East Side areas. A wine cooperative, Wines of Washington Seattle, is a block away from Pike Place Market. When watching the Pike Place Market salmon toss and ordering a salmon shipment home, walk a block to try out a large selection of Washington wines all in one spot.
Overlooked by many is that Seattle is a short hop to the San Juan Islands located in the “sun circle” of the area. Kenmore Air Service flies land-based aircraft from nearby Boeing Field and float planes to its destinations. Also, this is the fastest way to get to Canada’s famous Victoria and then take a ferry back to the USA through the scenic San Juan Islands. Washington ferries in the islands run in and out of Anacortes, Washington. Once in Anacortes, take a cab for dinner at Randy’s Pier 61 waterfront restaurant with a dining room view of Guemes Channel vessel traffic and islands. Travel back to Seattle is easy by renting a car or use the regular bus service to Seattle Sea-Tac airport.
This visit outlines a four- or five-day trip through the best things to see and do while in Seattle downtown. Needless to say, other ideas will arise depending on personal interests and with more time these can be incorporated to include the rainforest at Olympic National Forest. Strange, one may think, to call a forest in a rainy place like Seattle a rainforest. This temperate area is warm in summer and rains in the winter. This variation of beautiful Puget Sound, ferry rides, warm San Juan Islands, and rainforests that are all within easy travel of downtown Seattle makes this a great launching point for a trip.